Israel – Gaza Strip – Security Considerations
C23060 | 23 October 2023
Notice to: Ship Owners / Managers/ Operators / Surveyors / Auditors
This circular is issued to advise that following the Israel – Gaza Strip crisis that broke out on October 7th 2023, all ships in the vicinity should implement comprehensive security protocols and incorporate appropriate measures into their ship contingency plans.
Several Flag States have already issued guidance and/or instructions on the subject, which should be followed by ships sailing under those particular Flags. Key points to note are:
Ship Operators and Masters trading with Israeli Ports should carefully assess the risks involved in all port calls on a case-by-case basis, and:
- Obtain the most up-to-date and reliable security information available by frequently checking with local sources of information such as ship’s agents, local authorities and P&I correspondents.
- Advice received from coastal and port authorities and/or Flag Administrations regarding applicable ISPS security levels should be followed.
Shoreleave for Seafarers
Decisions regarding crew shore leave should always be taken with the prevailing local security situation in mind. All seafarers on ship heading towards Israel should be made aware of any imminent security threats.
LRIT & AIS
The automatic identification system (AIS) and the LRIT should remain on, except where the Master considers that the security of the ship could be compromised or when a security incident is imminent.
As Israel is already included in the Joint War Committee’s (JWC) Listed Areas for Hull War, Piracy, terrorism and Related Perils, it is recommended that the vessel’s war insurer be consulted well in advance of any call at an Israeli port.
- Conduct a new voyage specific threat risk assessment for each ship before entering any region where there has been an incident or the threat has changed, and review the Ship’s Security Plan.
- Review section 2 of BMP5, which outlines non-piracy threats and Global Counter-Piracy Guidance.
- Keep a full and vigilant bridge watch, at night slow small boats with no wake can be difficult to spot on radar.
- Maintain strict surveillance of communications and establish contact with all approaching vessels. Do not allow small craft to approach or come alongside.
- Ensure strict boarding controls are in place.
- Only lower accommodation gangways and ladders when necessary
- Keep exterior lighting on, rig additional overboard lighting and make full use of searchlights, provided that they do not affect maintaining a safe look-out. Pay particular attention to the stern of the ship.
- VHF channel 16 and other appropriate channels should be monitored and communications with local authorities maintained at all times.
- Ensure all firefighting equipment is available for immediate use, including the emergency fire pump.
All Ship Owners / Managers / Operators should ensure that the risks arising from the crisis have been thoroughly assessed and appropriate security measures strictly enforced. The above list of items is not definitive.